The charity supporting a series of north London hospitals hopes to provide long-term support to support as it fears the “worst effects” of the pandemic is yet to come.

The Royal Free Charity, which supports hospitals under its trust including Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, is setting out its plans for the future.

Ever since the start of the pandemic, the charity appealed for money, food and personal protective equipment (PPE) to help support staff during this challenging time.

But now chief executive Jon Spiers says “we need to redouble our efforts” as he fears staff is approaching “the toughest winter in the history of the NHS”.

In a statement, he said: “As this most arduous of years nears its end, we’re deeply conscious that we may not yet have seen the worst effects of the pandemic on our patients and staff at our three hospitals.

“Our 10,000 clinical and support staff from 100 nations have been working at an unprecedented level now for months, seeing more, sicker patients than anyone has seen in their career and risking their own physical and mental health.

“And it’s not over yet: we need them to keep up their heroic fight as we face the toughest winter in the history of the NHS.”

During the first wave, the charity supported staff by supplying a ‘free supermarket’ of donations so staff didn’t have to face the empty shelves and long queues after the end of their shift.

Like many NHS hospitals, safe spaces were created for staff so that they could rest and recharge in between their tiring shifts.

Mr Spiers said:” Now we’re focusing on longer-term support in three areas: providing psychological care to those affected by months of fighting the pandemic; enhancing the health and wellbeing of lower-paid staff; and creating more areas where staff can rest and recuperate.”

The hospitals stars in a BBC 2 documentary, ‘Hospital’, which hopes to showcase the reality of the situation of its wards during the pandemic and the hardships staff faced.